Italian Almond Cheeze
(Dairy free, Soy free, Gluten free Veggie Dip and Vegan Ricotta cheese alternative)
Almond Cheeze is a great substitute for the real thing, especially if you are dairy, soy, and gluten free. You can make it fresh at home in your blender or food processor, depending on the consistency you desire. See Note at the bottom of this post. With the addition of an Italian seasoning blend and lemon juice, it really takes the flavor up a notch and creates a versatile filler or topping for your baked pastas, lasagnas, chili, pizza, baked potatoes, chowders or whatever your mind creates. So have fun, enJoy cooking, and eating healthy.
Italian Almond Cheeze Veggie Dip
- 1 Cup Almonds
- 1/2 Cup filtered water plus more for soaking
- 1 TBSP. Lemon Juice
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tsp. Italian Seasoning (soy,dairy, and gluten free)
- 1/2 tsp. Salt
1. Rinse almonds well and place in a small glass container. Pour enough water so there is about 2 inches of water above top of almonds. Cover and put in fridge for 7-8 hours or overnight. Almonds will have plumped and will be much softer.
2. Rinse the soaked almonds using a metal sieve. Get water to just about boiling and immediately take off of heat. Keep almonds in sieve while it sits in the glass bowl. Pour enough hot water to cover almonds and let sit about 1 minute. Drain and Don’t rinse! Reserve some of the hot water for nuts that may get dry during the peeling process.
3. While the almonds are warm, start to peel off skin. In most cases the almonds just need a pinch and they will slip out of skins as long as they are still wet and retain heat. Throw skins away. It’s okay if there are a few bits of peel left on some of the almonds, we don’t have to be perfect and it will still taste good.
4. Put peeled almonds in your blender or food processor and add the water, fresh lemon juice, garlic clove, seasoning and salt. Blend (see note below) until smooth. Keeps for about 2 days in an airtight Glasslock Storage Containers or similar container.
Note: The difference when using a food processor versus a blender is the consistency. If you blend the mixture, it will be super smooth and creamy. If you use your Food Processor then it will be a thicker consistency and airy, much like a fresh ricotta or whipped cream cheese. See the Spicy Jalapeno Recipe for a smooth consistency achieved with a high power blender. I used my Vitamix. Pictured immediately below is a Food Processor consistency. This is also the perfect filling for a Vegan or healthier option in your lasagna. I know cause I have done this many times and love it! Also, if you are doing a veggie platter below, opt for an English Cucumber instead of what I used. An English cucumber doesn’t need to be peeled, like I should have done, and has a more pleasant, sweeter flavor.
Stuffed Tomatoes & Cucumbers with Almond Italian Cheeze, topped with lemon zest, more Italian seasoning and black pepper.
Vegan Lasagna with Zucchini Noodles. I chose a half finished Lasagna so you can see the layering.
Italian Almond Cheeze topping, spaced on Pizza and Breadsticks from my Bob’s Red Mill Pizza Crust mix and Applegate Italian Sausages reviews.
Italian Almond Cheeze topping on my version of a Veggie Margherita Pizza
Get Creative and enJoy your food!